One of K-pop’s most controversial couples have ended their marriage after five years and three kids together.
Choi Minhwan, 31, and Yulhee, who just celebrated her 26th birthday last week, announced their split on Monday and confirmed that Minhwan would take custody of their three children.
Their relationship caused a scandal when they first got together in 2017, as they were both K-pop idols who were forbidden to date by their respective record labels, keen to maintain the fantasy that they were ‘available’.
At the time, Minhwan was the drummer for Korean pop-rock band F.T. Island, which he’s still a member of, and Yulhee was the youngest member of the girl group Laboum.
Yulhee left Laboum shortly after the news broke and the couple quickly announced that they were expecting a child and were getting married.
K-pop couple Choi Minhwan, 31, and Yulhee, 26, announced their divorce on Monday
The couple shocked fans when they revealed that dad Minhwan will take primary custody of the three children
They welcomed their son, Jaeyul, in May 2018, were married by October, and then became pregnant with twin girls the following year.
Their young age, relationship controversy and status as K-pop idols meant the pair remained in the spotlight by appearing on a string of Korean talk shows as well as the popular reality series Mr House Husband.
These programs often saw the couple airing their dirty laundry and exposed cracks in their marriage.
In one episode of Mr. House Husband, Yulhee’s father revealed that he discovered his daughter’s pregnancy when meeting Minhwan for the first time.
The former couple also revealed their outrageous spending habits, which included forking out 8million KRW (AUD$9,249) each month on their children’s education, despite the fact that their two youngest were only three and their eldest was just five at the time.
The couple remained fixtures in the spotlight thanks to a string of appearances on talk shows and reality programs, where they often aired out their dirty laundry
The financial confession shed light on the differences between the pair, as Minhwan opposed the excessive spending and said that it was too much for the children.
Minhwan ended up getting a vasectomy shortly after the birth of their twins, only for Yulhee to reveal shortly after that she wanted to have a fourth child.
The couple finally announced their split and impending divorce on Monday.
‘Our journey as a couple concludes here, but we remain committed as the mother and father of our children. Both of us are actively caring for and maintaining communication with the children to the best of our abilities,’ Yulhee wrote on Instagram.
‘After much contemplation, we’ve decided that the father will take care of the three children,’ she continued.
‘We believe it’s right for them to remain in the familiar space they’ve known, minimizing practical problems and psychological anxiety. I’m also dedicated to spending quality time with my children to ensure they don’t feel their mother’s absence.’
‘So the husband is going to raise the kids?’ Yulhee has received backlash from the Korean public after giving up custody of her children to their father
The move has divided Koreans, with some condemning the young mother while others have thrown their support behind her.
‘I knew there was something wrong with her when she dropped everything to get married at 21,’ one wrote. ‘She’s getting divorced after having three kids? And giving all the custody to the father? What a weirdo. She doesn’t make any money of her own but bragged about all the money she was spending on her kids’ education every month.’
‘I do wonder how bad things must’ve gotten for her to want a divorce after three kids right in front of her… I hope they’re able to find happiness on separate paths while still doing their jobs as parents!’ another added.
‘So the husband is going to raise the kids, what does the wife intend to do out of the home all by herself??? Genuinely curious… She wants to pursue something else other than raising her own kids??’ asked another.
One fan wrote, ‘People say she’s too much but she’s still amazing for giving birth to the kids at a young age and even though she seemed strict, she’s a loving mother to them, and Minhwan is a responsible dad, so they’ll do well somehow.’